© 2022 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Senior Swimmer Keeps on Winning

Coyne PR

Not all athletic champions are in their teens and twenties. There’s one Tallahassee woman whose swimming skills have won her national competitive honors at the age of 70.

Barbara Goltz still holds down a regular high-pressure day job:

“I’m the chief financial officer for Florida Housing Finance Corporation,” she said.

For many years, Goltz has been just about as comfortable in the water as she’s been on land.

“My husband and I started swimming over at the FSU Pool when it was still under construction back in the early 1970s,” she recalled. “Swimming was our aerobic activity and we met a group of people there who pretty much swam every day and began our swimming/lifetime/aerobic activity.”

Goltz explained the swimmers she and her husband Jack hung out with were pretty competitive already, but she aspired to compete at an even higher level and that’s exactly what she did.

“I actually started swimming in Masters Meets well before I turned 50,” she said. “And then when I turned 50, I started swimming in the Senior Games here in Tallahassee because it was local and an easy competition to get to. Then when I got into my 60s, I started to participate in the state games as well as the local games and then went on to participate in the national games.”

Now, at the age of 70, Goltz is set to compete and qualify during the upcoming Florida Senior Games in December. After that, she’s set her sights on the National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham, Alabama next year. Humana has also bestowed her with its “Game Changer” honors for her fierce competitive drive. Even after two hip replacements and without a rotator in her left shoulder, Goltz still delivers winning performances in the breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle events.

“You know, it’s very rewarding of course to be recognized for any kind of accomplishment that you’ve put so much time and effort into. But I swim for the personal gratification of knowing that I’ve achieved a time that is worthy of recognition. So for me it really isn’t about all the awards and all that.”

Goltz also hopes her example will motivate more seasoned citizens to become more physically active. In turn, she’s inspired by others.

“Even here in town, you can see people who are just keeping moving, whether they have some physical infirmity or they’re just getting older and older, they’re still active and I think that’s so inspirational.”

Champion swimmer Barb Goltz of Tallahassee, proving yet again that there’s no such thing as “too old”.

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.